The refill machine allows anyone to refill of Rin and Vim liquid at a discounted rate by bringing an empty container e.g., an airtight jar and old Rin or Vim liquid bottle.
Dr. Abdul Hamid, Director General, Department of Environment has inaugurated the machine at Unimart Gulshan as chief guest in presence Masud Iqbal Md. Shameem, Director (Environment clearance) Department of Environment, Zaved Akhtar, CEO and Managing Director of UBL and Murtoza Zaman, CEO of Unimart Limited, and other senior officials of Unilever Bangladesh. The programme was organised by Unilever Bangladesh in collaboration with Unimart Limited.
In alignment with Unilever’s sustainability strategy, UBL has a commitment to cut the use of virgin plastic to half in its packaging process by 2025. To fulfill that commitment, UBL has taken this innovative initiative to reduce plastic use.
This new machine is easy to operate where consumers can refill the bottle with very simple steps in touch screen and they can decide their own volume ranging from 200 ml, 400 ml, 500 ml, 800 ml, 1 liter, 1.5 liter and 2 liters. This way consumers will use the same bottle repeatedly and as a result it will promote the practice of reusing plastic packaging.
The machine is developed by Unilever R&D team in collaboration with a global startup company, which has been checked and validated by Metrology Division of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution.
Currently, Unilever has established two machines at Unimart, Gulshan 2 and Agora, Japan Garden City, Mohammadpur. The further expansion of this initiative will be evaluated based on the lessons learned from this pilot. The company is also working to develop another pilot at the end of this year targeting the consumer at rural areas.
Zaved Akhtar, CEO and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh, said: “To tackle the root causes of plastic waste we need to think differently about packaging. We need bold innovations that challenge existing designs, materials and business models. Our priority is to fundamentally rethink our approach to packaging and pave the way for new solutions such as reusable and refillable formats. By adopting a ‘test, learn and refine’ mentality, we have developed innovative solutions that will help people cut their use of plastic for good.
It is still early days. But by making refill and reuse formats more widely available, accessible, and affordable, we hope to use our scale and reach to drive lasting change. The urgency to act on plastic pollution is now widely understood and Unilever is committed to creating a circular economy for plastic. Besides recycling, refillable, and reusable packaging could well be the game changer the world needs.”